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NYC legislation aimed at forcing landlords to address repairs

Have you ever wondered what shortcuts your landlord may be taking when fixing a problem that has been troubling you for months? Have you ever had trouble just getting those problems fixed in the first place? Well, New York City's with new legislation, the Department of Housing and Buildings will be fixing both of those potentialities through one stroke of the pen.

The legislation required landlords to make repairs to their buildings in a timely fashion or face the city doing it for them and then suing for the bill as well as a fine. Under the new bill, once building owners receive an order from the agency to make a specific repair, they will have four months to do so. After that, the Department will step in and fix it themselves and litigate for payment. Civil penalties for the building owners will also be $1,000 per apartment affected by the lack of repair.

The city is trying to protect tenants from landlords who take shortcuts in repair or ignore repair requests to the detriment of tenant health and safety. Quickly painting over mold will not solve the underlying issue at hand, and with mold being of utmost concern since Hurricane Sandy, this legislation is trying to take a proactive approach in protecting the city's tenants.

The law will take effect around July and only buildings with three or more apartments being impacted by the lack of landlord repairs will be addressed through the process. The four month timetable can also be adjusted for larger repair projects should it be needed. Currently, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development is working on outlining the specific rules and guidelines to enhance the clarity of the new legislation.

Source: The Epoch Times, "NYC Landlords Must Fix Problems Under New Law," Zachary Stieber, Jan. 10, 2013

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Gary J. Wachtel, Esq.
450 Seventh Avenue,
Suite 1905,
New York, NY 10123
Phone: 917-503-9616
Fax: 212-371-7722

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